My PhD journey – a new category

Jesus I know this sounds a little crazy but I used to get anxiety just admitting to myself I wanted to attempt the path to my PhD let alone actually be churning along it. Okay I’ll admit if I were going to just throw down my gloves and quit I probably would have done it at this point. I’m pursuing my PhD and it’s one hundred percent really happening! I know this must sound like some conceited self-affirmation or something but I assure you it has taken an incredible amount of work to overcome the self-doubt I had when I first contacted my university and scheduled an appointment to discuss my options.

When I registered for and arranged my VA payments, I kept waiting to be told I forgot to fill out something or somehow my grade point average in grad school wasn’t high enough to pursue my dream. That was absurd. I graduated High School with low Bs and high Cs. I had to take summer classes my Junior year just to graduate Hodgson Vo-Tech. Back then I didn’t care about school and I didn’t want to be there. I saw my education as a waste of time because no one (who was educated) explained to me what education was really supposed to do in my life. It wasn’t what I was learning but how I was learning that was important then as it is now.

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Once I joined the military, was in-purpose and moving strong, I carried an A average during my undergrad as well as while completing my Masters Degree. I viewed my education as the means to one day elevate myself and assist me in obtaining what I want most in life. I took it really serious because I knew I was going to rise. Then of course I began to listen to and then believe negativity from others), quit school and in time my career tanked. It’s amazing how much our perspective can change over the years isn’t it?

I recently had to complete an assignment during which I was asked to write a 4 page APA paper about what I plan to do with my PhD. That is a simple answer. My Doctorate will prepare me for the REAL challenge. I intend to make a difference in our suicide problem we have allowed to get out of control in the Air Force. We lost another two this week. We lose more lives to suicide than we do to combat now.

I have set a rather lofty goal: I intend to take on Mother Air Force, herself.

I realize I am different from others because I believe I can explain why these people committed suicide. Through my research and through painful interviews I will attempt to give these people a voice and finally let them be heard when that is likely all they ever really wanted before they decided it wasn’t worth it to feel hurt anymore. As someone who has walked all the fucking way to the edge of that ledge and stepped back before I jumped, I have a perspective much different than most others. Committing suicide is NOT a decision you make overnight. It typically takes some time to develop that mindset. It did for me. It took time to get back out of it.

I guess I feel the biggest reason I can explain this better than most others is because I can relate to what these people went through when they either tried to get help and couldn’t receive it for whatever reason or were just too afraid to get help like I was (and was later ostracized as a result of getting it – go figure). More than anything I will attempt to explain what specific organizational factors have influenced our military to experience such a high influx of suicides. I’m going to explore what is it WE are doing as a military to convince so many people to take their lives. I promised you Trainwrecks from the get-go I was going to find you and I would come running with outstretched hands and I meant it. If we can identify our points of failure, we might be able to change some belief systems. I truly believe if I can change the Air Force then I can change any organization. And I will, you’ll see.

That is what I intend to do with my PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

I look back not even a year ago and this blog was nothing more than what I referred to as my “dumping grounds” for some Bullshit book I wanna write about the weird crap that has made me… me. I used to ask myself why anyone would even remotely give a shit about what I have experienced and the hard lessons I have learned but I now have other military veterans and civillians approaching me in public and thanking me for the outright honest perspective I am trying to give. I know that I’m a pretty fucked up individual not just because of how my experiences have shaped what I appear to others but from a more intrinsic point of view, I readily admit my belief system is radically different than most people I encounter on a regular basis. I’m honest with the world with who I am now because I reached a point I just got tired of hiding things from others. I think other people have reached that point as well.

I just don’t see human beings the same way as 99% of you do anymore. I am turning that into an advantage now.

To be honest with you Trainwrecks, I think that is why the world of psychology has such an appeal to me. Ever since I was a kid, I knew I looked at other people differently than most. I could never really explain it, only that most others were off in a group, concerned about God knows what and I was perfectly content to be by myself building something. Working on something. And yes, for those wondering it yes, they revolved around trains. Steam locomotives specifically have always appealed to me and It’s odd how well things really fall into line when you let them. I’m learning this more and more every day. The very concept of a train has helped shape who I am, my own coaching psychological paradigm and who it is I intend to become one day. I will impact this suicide problem and I don’t care what it takes.

If you feel you are affected by awkwardness, a failure to accomplish your goals and a general feeling of anxiety I want you to know you are perfectly normal. If you have reached a point of frustration or just want to know more about your potential to be who you really want to be and would like to explore your options in modifying your behavior through a professional coaching program, contact me for a free consultation. We will not only address what you feel your shortcomings may be, but we will identify one very important thing. The MOST important thing: who YOU are according to YOU! Please contact me via for a free consultation and we will explore how we can closer align your lifestyle to your ideal self.

Who YOU really are!

I truly believe in the methodology of Coaching Psychology. I believe in evidence-based scientifically backed behavioral and perception adjustment. Yes, I have seen personal how it is possible for a shy person to learn to assert themselves. YES, it is possible for men to learn how to (respectfully) talk to women and not act like a complete Douche or even want to run out of the room panicking with fear. YES, it is possible for women to understand why men act like the way they do or at a very minimum decide if the way “they” are conducting business in their life is even worth still pursuing. It is incredible what we can accomplish once we realize the truth of the world around us and how we can design the ideal lifestyle for ourselves. The most important thing anyone can learn from a coach such as myself is how to be present to a situation here and now. No filters, just an authentic person comfortable with who they truly are.  Yes, this is possible.

So lets get updated. My coach training is now complete and like so many others I am slowly working toward gaining enough experience to develop my own professional coaching strategy. My primary interest is corporate coaching, as I feel my perspective is best suited for business owners experiencing hurdles involving decisions in the workplace as well as in their personal lives. A significant part of my PhD journey is to become a board-certified coach and to pass the BCCE certification program. So, with that said, I am slowly incorporating changes into my website for it to become both more user friendly as well as offer a resource to investigate me as a coach before clients make any decisions on whether to hire me. It is only fair for people to see what I am offering and that I can do what I say I can do. I can.

While I have had to slow down work on content a little bit, it has not been for loss of interest or material. Quite the contrary, I am now revamping my content creation process so I can utilize the entire month to create content. What that now means is I will “try” to research, write and create an entire subject and a month’s worth of videos to cover the content. While I understand there is going to be a very significant learning curve to implement this plan, I am learning how to do all of this better every day.

I guess my most exciting news is the fact I am now busier than I have ever been in my life before. I have realistic goals that are quite high, and I have finally arrived at the point where I know I will accomplish them no matter what. The site gets a fair amount of traffic everyday and visitors have even begun to comment. Like I said before I have reached other veterans as well as so many civilians and its becoming more normal for people to stop me in public and tell me something I talked about or something they connected with made a difference in their day. That is what this is all about, making a difference in other people’s lives whether it be coaching, providing a veteran’s perspective on things or even sharing my knowledge of psychology with organizations.

Although I am a psychologist by definition, I do not offer clinical psych analyzation and treatment.  I understand behavior and how to change it, but I have no desire to be confined in a clinical setting. My place is at a work environment or coaching someone one on one in-field. While I work to assist my clients resolve their personal issues, my work differs in that I work to target habits and behaviors incongruent with personal goals and desires. My purpose is to identify issues relating to motivation and execution HERE and NOW. My intent is to assist others in realizing we can be whoever we want to be if we are willing to put in the hard work and even be willing to deal with the pain of letting go unsuccessful belief systems. My purpose is to explain basic human and organizational psychology to clients while formulating an action plan to institute personal growth.

So, here is an answer to a popular question: “what about the book?” Well, funny you should ask that as I am nearing a point where I feel I might have enough material to go cover to cover. At first I would sit at one of my favorite pubs, Stubborn German here in Waterloo IL and jam out page after page. In time I began incorporating the site into my work and before I knew it I was putting much of my information on the site for people to read and give feedback on. I think it is working out really well because I can determine if I’m writing about an uninteresting topic or not. I intend to release more than one book in my lifetime, and I cannot wait to get further in writing.

As I began to mention earlier, I have taken a month off from making videos to try to catch up. I think it is important to allow yourself to catch up every now and then and evaluate if you are going in the direction you want to go in. Needless to say I feel like I’m really on to something and intend to get back at it in a few weeks.

On a positive note my favorite time of year, Fall will soon be upon us. The cooler weather and less demand for activities outside my home will help me evaluate how to better utilize my time. Every morning when the sun rises, it is yet another opportunity to do something amazing. Decide what it is YOU want to do to be amazing today. We can do this.

You’re Welcome. Internet.

This post was heavily influenced by Hypnotik – Keys N Krates

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